Your immune defenses: control what you can

by | Sep 15, 2020 | Nutrition

How is your September going?

Here in Switzerland we are very lucky to be back into a routine.  Masks and social distancing may mean it’s a little different or more restricted in some ways, but I consider us to be incredibly fortunate.

The annual ‘flu season will inevitably be upon us soon though and this year, more than ever, I want to control what I can and do as much as possible to make sure my family’s immune system is strong and ready.

There are many factors that affect our immune system. The changing of seasons, our busy routines, and pollution are just a few examples of factors that lead to lower immunity, colds, flu, and allergies. When combined with poor choices we make in terms of our diet, activity level, and prioritising our health, we leave ourselves more open to the likelihood of suffering from diseases and viral infections.

The good news is that there are just as many ways that we can boost our immune system to keep the illnesses and diseases at bay. These ways are easy to adopt and may help a great deal in boosting your immune system and staying healthier for longer. The best approach to getting and maintaining a strong immune system is by consistently making great choices for your body and mind throughout the year.

When you start to work on strengthening your immune system, you may choose to look at your diet as a first resort for change. You can change your overall eating habits and remove food items that slow your system down. If you are starting with your diet, then one thing you should consider is adding these ‘superfoods’ to help your immune system. Here are a few of the best and easiest ingredients to use in your daily cooking for your immune system.

Immune system super stars

Garlic – used to help with colds, ‘flus, congestion and infections. Use it pressed in your cooking,  add it  to sauces and even make it into a tea.  For the very brave ones amongst you – eating raw garlic gives you the maximum benefits!

Ginger – often associated with stomach health, this can help with overall digestion.  And so what does this have to do with your immune system you may ask?!  If you have digestive issues, it means your immune system is working to help out.  Ginger  helps soothe the stomach and helps the digestive tract to move the toxins through which can take the pressure off your immune system, leaving it available to work elsewhere.

Turmeric –  this spice is known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties so it is a great health-promoting ingredient to include in your diet.

Tip:  the active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin, and curcumin is not absorbed easily into the bloodstream.  Add some black pepper to your recipe to help enhance absorption.   Here’s an idea you can try:


Serves 1

1 cup coconut milk

¾ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

1 tsp honey (preferably raw)

Pinch of sea salt

Dash of black pepper

Pour coconut milk into a saucepan, whisk in turmeric, cinnamon and ginger and black pepper.  Bring to a light simmer and heat until warmed through.  Stir in honey and salt until dissolved.  Serve in your favourite mug!  

Non-food immune system boosters:

Other factors that you can improve to help keep your natural defenses working their best are: Stress




  …. and there will be more on these next time!


Lindsay Guest

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Beautiful photos by Louis Hansel and Shayna Douglas on Unsplash